AND BEST EVER CRACKLING!
ROLLED ROAST PORK BELLY WITH CHILLI SAUCE
Preparation time 40 mins Cooking time 3 hours 40 mins Serves 10
3kg piece boneless, skin-on pork belly, skin well scored, (see Crackling Good Tips, opposite page) 2 Tbsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic
Small bunch thyme,
leaves chopped 8 bay leaves Freshly ground black
pepper, to season 1 Tbsp olive oil
Soft bread rolls, to serve
2 red capsicum, deseeded
and roughly chopped
1 ripe tomato, quartered 4 red chillies, tops removed 2 eschalots, roughly chopped STEP 1 Preheat oven to 140°C fan-forced (160°C conventional). Season pork all over with 1 tablespoon of the salt. Keep salted pork covered and chill. STEP 2 Crush garlic, thyme and bay leaves together in a mortar and pestle, or finely chop, to a make a paste. Mix generously with salt and pepper. Lay pork skin-side down on a chopping board, then score flesh criss-cross all over and massage herb seasoning into flesh. STEP 3 Starting from the longest side, roll belly up tightly, then secure with butcher’s string at regular 2cm intervals to hold it together.
STEP 4 Place wire rack or trivet in a large roasting dish and sit pork on top. Massage or brush pork skin with oil and give a final sprinkling of salt. Roast for 3 hours, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes after the first hour. STEP 5 Remove pork from oven and turn up the heat to 220°C fan-forced (240°C conventional). Pour out most of the pan juices from the dish and add capsicum, tomato, chilli, eschalot and garlic. Place pork back on wire rack and roast with vegetables for a further 30-40 minutes, turning pork with tongs to expose different parts of the skin to crisp up crackling. When pork is ready, lift onto a board and rest for 10 minutes, ready to carve. STEP 6 To make chilli sauce, scrape all vegetables and pan juices into a food processor or blender, add vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt. Pulse to a sauce as chunky or smooth as you like. Slice pork roast with a serrated knife. Serve roast with chilli sauce and bread rolls, if desired.
CRACKLING GOOD TIPS
• Deep-score the skin or have your butcher do it. This gives many exposed edges which helps the crackling blister more effectively.
• Salt skin as soon as possible. You can do it up to 48 hours ahead and chill in the fridge. Salting draws out moisture – the enemy of crackling.
• If preparing immediately, pour boiling water over scored skin, then dry thoroughly.
• Roasting pork low then finishing it high gives great results – just watch it closely as there’s only a few minutes between perfect and burnt.
4 cloves garlic, peeled 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 tsp honey